Written by: AP on 17/11/2010 15:50:52

Altough Sepultura continues to exist without the influence of brothers Max and Igor Cavalera, there are those who regard 1996 as the year Sepultura died. But perhaps it's time said people ended therir mourning and set their sights on the new music that sprang from the ashes of this so-called demise. On record, Max Cavalera's Soulfly may not always have satisfied the nostalgic Sepulturist, but live the band is notorious for incoporating almost as many classic Sepultura songs into their setlist as their own. And while devoid of instant classics in the vein of "Refuse / Resist", "Arise", "Dead Embryonic Cells" and "Troops of Doom", most would agree that "Conquer" two years ago, returned Max to his destined path.

And what "Conquer" set in motion in 2008, "Omen" now carries on with, capturing the sound of Sepultura's glory days with frightening accuracy. Max has all but stripped the tribal flavorings and returned to his roots, bloody roots, abandoned his fixation on the A and E strings, and resurrected his uncanny talent for writing some of the most vitriolic riffs in metal. Max's personal specialties, groove and incessant chugging, are ever-present as usual, but it is Marc Rizzo who takes the pedestal with his phenomenal lead work. It is based heavily upon a contemporary guitar crunch, but has ample references to traditional melodies from classic metal, and true to tradition, there is a definite Latin element. Unlike past Soulfly efforts, Rizzo's lead guitar has a perpetual, much more conspicuous role, but where he really gets to shine, is in the unprecedented amount of prominent solos, such as the eye-widening finger olympics of "Great Depression", "Lethal Injection" and "Kingdom".

As such - while still instantly recognisable as a Soulfly album - "Omen" is unexpectedly diverse. Not multifarious as a metal album per se, but packed with enough variation to easily outshine its predecessors. There are full-fledged, relentless thrash metal terrorisers like "Bloodbath & Beyond" and "Vulture Culture", brooding mid-tempo pieces like "Rise of the Fallen" (featuring Greg Puciato of The Dillinger Escape Plan), "Letal Injection" (with Prong's Tommy Victor) and "Kingdom", as well as primitive, low end Max-fests like "Jeffrey Dahmer", "Off With Their Heads" and "Mega-Doom" familiar to hardened fans of his past endeavours, all capturing Soulfly and indeed Max Cavalera from all his best angles.

True to tradition, the album concludes with the laid-back instrumental piece "Soulfly VII", and when all is said and done, "Omen" feels like Soulfly's best work to date. Dynamic, varied and ripe with retrospect. Fans of Sepultura, who found themselves profoundly disappointed by the eponymous Cavalera Conspiracy, should look no further despite "Omen" not being as classic or influential as "Arise" or "Chaos A.D." It is a turning point for Soulfly, and puts Max Cavalera back where he belongs - playing primal, punishing, groove laden death-thrash with all the eloquence of a gruff, seasoned biker.

Download: Bloodbath & Beyond, Great Depression, Lethal Injection, Kingdom
For the fans of: Cavalera Conspiracy, Pantera, Sepultura
Listen: Myspace

Release date 24.05.2010

Related Items | How we score?
comments powered by Disqus


© Copyright MMXXII